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Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster

In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

Title:  Tarnished Knight
Author:  Bec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk #1.5
Publish Date:  April 5, 2013
Source: free only to those signed up for author’s newsletter

Publisher’s Description: In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John “Rip” Doolan thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.

For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …sometime there are SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Indeed, the dark should fear him.

 

This is a typical case of a man being blind as a bat.  John was turned blue blood by Blade to save his life.  John and Esme were very good friends but Esme wanted more.  John wanted more too, but he didn’t think Esme did even though she practically hammered the idea on his head.  Esme tried every way she could think of to tell him – directly, indirectly, actions, words, no actions, no words and nothing seemed to break through John’s thick head.

It finally took “meddlin'” as Blade called it to clear the air.  Blade and his wife, Honoria, are making a home for their “family”.  Some are blood, some are not but they are all family.  Blade can’t stand not seeing Esme happy and even though he was supposed to leave things alone, he HAD to play matchmaker – which tickled him pink.

This is a fun book (except for when the bad guys steal people to drain them and want to take over Whitechapel) and it ends with a good ending.  There is some sex, some foul language but John and Esme get their own story which was *sigh* so nice.

 

Other reviews in this series:

  • Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

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The Entity Game by Lisa Shearin

In a race against time, Rory must find and stop a very different kind of killer.

TitleThe Entity Game
AuthorLisa Shearin
SeriesAurora Donati #1
Release date: May 12, 2020
DescriptionA powerful United States senator and his aide die in their office of cardiac arrests. The next day, a second senator dies of an aneurysm. Officials declare their deaths natural causes, but the FBI fears there is something sinister happening on Capitol Hill and looks to psychometric detective Aurora Donati to investigate. Rory’s ability to get information from people or objects with a single touch uniquely qualifies her to explain the inexplicable. Only this time, she begins to wonder if she is up against forces that no one has ever encountered before.
 
The next attack strikes close to home and turns Rory’s world upside down. She finds herself entangled in a deadly mix of terrorists, corrupt politicians, and secretive intelligence agencies in a web of deception and conspiracy dating back to experiments performed in a Cold War-era Soviet laboratory and perfected by modern science.
 
Someone else is pursuing the truth: Gabriel Marshall, CIA operative, who has an agenda and abilities of his own. They find themselves locked in a deadly game, stalked by a seemingly supernatural assassin who puts Rory and Gabriel’s abilities to the ultimate test in a deadly duel. Time is running out and Rory must counter each move and play the game to its heart-stopping end in the halls of the US Capitol itself.  

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …there could be SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This was an AWESOME first of the series story!  New characters, new world, same strong and powerfully talented artist painting a movie for the mind through word!

This world is parallel of our world except for a female president, politicians that are actually acting for the greater good and, of course, supernatural talents that can only solve this mystery.  There was no sex.  No foul language.  A strong set of main characters and a charming grandfather to boot.  The story sets in Washington DC and surrounding area.  Aurora Donati and her grandfather have special gifts that help the F.B.I. solve difficult cases.  This time when they are called in, it is more than they bargained for as there is a sociopathic killer priming the world for his grand performance and a C.I.A. agent that writes his own rules.

I LOVED this book.  These characters are as dimensional as all the other characters that Lisa Shearin writes, but with more of a real world kind of “it could maybe happen here” kind of twist.  I cannot wait for the next in this series.  The characters took me on an investigation that could only happen in the political world and only with the C.I.A. and secret forces at play.

There was a good ending which I am always thrilled to see and good triumphs evil…at least for now.  This particular story could remain a player in an over arc of the whole series.

 

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Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Title:  Kiss of Steel
Author:  Bec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk #1
Publish Date:  September 1, 2012
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …sometime there are SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

“Are you decent?”

“Rarely,” he said, with an ironic drawl.

“Are you clothed?”

“Aye.”

Right off I have to tell you  that I LOVED this book.  The story starts out in a steampunk world of 1870’s London, England.  The aristocracy are all “creatures” called Blue Bloods.  They have been infected (on purpose) with a craving virus similar to vampirism except it’s not quite the same.  The vampirism doesn’t take hold until after a blue blood (called so because their blood is a purplish/blue kind of color) goes through the “Fade”.  The Fade is called so because a blue blood’s virus count tops out and the higher it gets the less color the person has.  Meaning that everything about them turns albino in coloring and then they loose their mind and become a raging, killing machine that is nearly invincible.  It’s like Vampires but a different spin!

So, there is swearing, some romantic scenes and some sex scenes.  There is a lot of blood and gore at times but a lot more mystery and intrigue.  Honoria’s father was a scientist trying to find a cure for “The Fade” – not necessarily the craving virus because the aristocracy or The Echelon WANTS that.  The virus keeps them young, strong and hardy for as long as the virus count stays low enough.  All males born into aristocracy gets a chance at the craving virus.  At 15, all boys get infected as a rite of passage.  Some that are low born are accidentally infected.  Those are made into the “secret service/F.B.I.” of the aristocracy called the Nighthawks.  The best of the best of the Nighthawks are moved into the Coldrush Guards.  Those low born or those that are accidentally infected that eschew the Nighthawks are rogues and will be killed immediately unless…they can get away.  Blade is a rogue.

I loved these characters.  They are so dimensional and clear that they could step right out of the book.  I loved this book so much, that I continued and read book 1.1 and book 1.5 immediately.  I’m now starting on book 2.  This series sucked me in quickly and I cannot put it down!!

 

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The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren

Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too.

Title:  The Heart of a Hero
Author:  Susan May Warren
Series:  Global Search and Rescue #2
Publish Date: June 2, 2020
Source:  Netgalley

Publisher’s Description:  Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. Now he can’t get her out of his head, and when he hears she is in the path of a hurricane down in Key West he can’t help but jump on a plane to rescue her.

Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Now driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn’t been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he’s also dangerous, and she’s already lost one person she loves. She can’t bear it again.

It’s not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?

 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This book is part of a series.  Although I read #2 before #1, I was fairly ok guessing at the story line but it might serve better to read in order.  This is a Christian romance, which means a romance that includes God and religious leaning.  There is no sex, not much violence and ends with a happy ending.

Since I’ve not read book #1, I am unclear on some of the characters, but what I am sure of is that I need to read #3 when it comes out.   The writer made me care about these characters.  There was action and parts that made me stop and think about what I would do if I was put in their situation.  The whole book felt like a non stop marathon.  I started and it was hard to stop.

Though this is a christian romance, I did not feel like religion was foisted upon me.  It was more like warm thoughts and caring for the characters for the other characters involved.

The premise of the book was simple.  The heroine had a “moment or two” in book one and then the heroine felt embarrassed and ran away.  The hero felt so much for the heroine, he went after her.  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure I would have if I was him.  Anyway, it was good for her that he did chase her, because she really needed the help.  Yes, she is a tough and independent woman, but this was a very serious situation that she was in and she took responsibility for others.  The two of them worked together and even though it was a book, I could feel that their connection was a good one.

I enjoyed this book.  The story wasn’t dark or scary like a psychological thriller.  It was simply two people taking care of others while they tried to survive themselves.

 

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Honor Avenged by Tonya Burrows

Leah Giancarelli makes balancing her new role as a single mom look easy, but she’d have crumbled if not for her late husband’s best friend, Marcus.  Both are ripped over the attraction between them.  Should they?

Title:  Honor Avenged
Author:  Tonya Burrows
Series:  Hornet #6
Publish Date:  May 18, 2020
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: Leah Giancarelli makes balancing her new role as a single mom look easy, but she’d have crumbled if not for her late husband’s best friend, Marcus. She has her issues with HORNET, an elite hostage rescue team—after all, Danny would still be alive if he’d never accompanied them on their last mission—but Marcus has always been by her side, a strong shoulder to lean on…


Until, after one impulsive kiss, he’s so much more.

Eaten alive by guilt, Marcus takes off, leaving both HORNET and Leah behind. Alone is easier. Safer. Because his feelings for Leah are all kinds of wrong, the worst kind of betrayal, and he can’t trust himself not to act on them.

But Danny’s death was only the beginning. Whoever hired the hitman is looking for something, and they think Leah knows where it is…

Each book in the HORNET series is STANDALONE:
* SEAL of Honor
* Honor Reclaimed
* Broken Honor
* Code of Honor
* Reckless Honor
* Honor Avenged

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This book is fairly clean for a military romance.  It’s actually more adventure than porn and that’s the way I like them.  There is some graphic scenes of torture and death.  There are some scenes with the less fortunate people that have to live through hell just to get through a day.  There is swearing but there is also a good ending.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.  I felt deeply for the couple in this book.  They had a pretty hard time of it, but when a husband and friend dies unexpectedly, you will have a more than tough time.

Marcus was supposed to watch over Leah and the kids for his best friend Danny.  Supposed to.  He couldn’t stand up to his grief and work through it in order to be a help to anyone.  He was a sad state of affairs, running from every feeling he had and hiding them from himself.  Leah was alone and fighting to stay afloat.  Fighting and fighting to stay afloat, because that’s what moms do.

The adventure in this book was pretty spectacular.  The premise was a secret investigation that Danny was handling and the wrong people had control over the situation and killed him.  The bad guys were really, really bad guys and decided to come after Leah because she *might* know something.  Leah doesn’t know who to trust and those that she’s supposed to be able to trust, can she?  It was a good story.

 

 

 

 

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